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6 ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr in Harlem this weekend

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Harlem's the perfect place to find events all weekend long that celebrate the civil rights giant. Here's a shortlist:

Through Monday, January 21

Reserve this special dinner menu–inspired by the Stone of Hope statue at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington D.C.–throughout the holiday weekend and enjoy dishes including rock shrimp, Chicken à la King, and Coca-Cola swirl cake.

Saturday, January 19 (the center is closed Sun and this Mon)

This photo exhibit highlights lesser-seen images of King during his travels to India, Oslo (to accept the Nobel Peace Prize), and elsewhere that furthered his work as a civil rights crusader.

Saturday, January 19, 2pm & 7pm, and Sunday, January 20, 2pm and 6pm

This one-person show tells the true story of Lynda Blackmon, the youngest person to walk in the Selma-to-Montgomery march and fight alongside Dr. King for African-Americans' right to vote. Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) directed and adapted the play from the memoir by Lynda Blackmon Lowery.

Sunday, January 20 at 3pm

In what's become a tradition, Harlem's legendary theater and WNYC are joining forces for a celebration that examines MLK's legacy. WNYC hosts Brian Lehrer and Jami Floyd will moderate a discussion with a special emphasis on unsung members of the civil rights movement, including women and people from the LGBTQ community. The line for standby tickets forms at 2:15pm, but you can also watch the event live on Facebook.

Monday, January 21, 11am and 2pm

Explore the neighborhood while learning how the Harlem Renaissance laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement. Stops include sites associated with MLK.

Monday, January 21, 2pm-6pm

Now in its fourth year, this afternoon-long tribute to MLK at the historic Riverside Church–where King gave his famous anti-Vietnam War speech–will include a special conversation between Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and author Ta-Nehisi Coates. You can also watch the livestream here.

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